Amway – Compassionate Capitalism

Eddie Edvis would be very happy for you to join him in his Amway network but would nevertheless be equally happy should you choose to join your friend’s network. But do spend a few minutes to read the following carefully. Good Luck !

Why Eddie Edvis Does Amway:
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There will be a thousand-and-one reasons why those who do Amway do Amway but at the end of the day, despite whatever else anyone may say, it all comes down to $-money, but even as that is so, and even within the money reason, there can be a number secondary motivators that drive the primary $-motivator and, in this write-up, I would like to examine some of those and hopefully dispel some of the negatives that prevent many from coming forth to declare themselves an accredited Amway IBO (“Independent Business Owner”) like I have.

We will examine some of the negatives together but allow me to start off with a number of home-truths:

1. Amway is not necessarily just for the downtroddened, the down-and-outers. Within my group, there are highly successful and publicly-recognised businessmen as there are university professors, professionals and academics and even government scholars who turn down imminent promotions on completion of their bonds, resign and do Amway full-time. On the other side of the coin, there are durian sellers, housewives, grandmothers, taxi drivers, recent graduates, young students, etc. The most successful Amway distributor in Malaysia, where Amway has been operating 35 years, is a durian seller and he is not even English-educated !
I am happy and proud to be identified as an Amway IBO and I exhibit a little sign identifying myself as such on the door to my apartment at home, as I am allowed to do. I am not afraid of my neighbours viewing it as if I have either lost my regular job or that it may be in jeopardy.

2. Yes, Amway is a multi-level marketing (“MLM”) company but it is not pyramidal and it is not illegal. It is also not a “get-rich-quick”/Ponzi, “money-for-nothing” scam. One needs to work and the rewards can be geometrically greater than the effort exerted. There is only a S$69 one-off starting fee which is refundable within 12 months on a “no-questions- asked” basis as long as the membership card and the business start-up kit is returned. Further annual renewal fee is $38 and there is no monthly commitment as to how much an IBO is obliged to purchase in order to maintain his/her membership. An IBO transacts as much or as little as he/she wishes to and, yes, the network built by an IBO, beyond a defined level, can be willed and passed onto that IBO’s beneficiaries recognizing, of course, that the established network can and will continue to grow as new downlines subscribe in and as they continue to trade and transact in these growing numbers.

There are some amazing stories from the annals of Amway’s Malaysian history of IBOs who have worked and built their networks but who either, unfortunately, have passed on, or, have stopped working the network and migrated overseas where either the deceased ‘s beneficiaries enjoy the benefits of the network that’s bequest them and which continues to grow of its own or continue to enjoy the fruits of their earlier labor from their new home overseas.

Today, in Singapore, after having been here since 2002, with islandwide revenues in the mid S$40m, Amway is recognized as an exemplary corporate citizen and has received letters of commendation from Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, recognizing it for its contributions to the wider community and especially for its sponsorships of the recently concluded and successful inaugural Youth Olympic Games.

Pyramidal schemes are those that reward uplines for recruiting downlines into their network, not necessitating product transactions and who generally have only been in the business a short time and with a small 1 or 2-item product range and definitely with no product, money-back guarantee. Amway is none of these. Amway only pays commissions when product is sold.

In Singapore, Amway has a 500-item product range which is increasing right at the moment as the company prepares to go onto online 3rd-party product marketing. Worldwide, Amway has been in business 52 years, having been incorporated in the US in 1959. Its 2009 worldwide revenue was US$8.4billion. 2008’s was US$8.2billion. 2010 revenues have topped the US$9billion mark. 7 of its Top 10 markets are Asian, and whilst Amway initially started up as a household soap and detergent company, today, none of its soap and detergent products make its Top 10 Products List even though some of its initial launch products like the Liquid Organic Cleaner (“LOC”) remain good sellers and still make good conversation openers today. Its Top 10 Products List today is dominated by products from its cosmetic Artistry range (Artistry is ranked amongst the world’s Top 5 cosmetic brands notwithstanding that it is only sold via direct/network marketing), its health supplements and wellness Nutrilite range and also its highly acclaimed e-Spring water purifier and Atmosphere air-purifier, perhaps indicative of the inclement global pollutant times.

10547449_910878848925974_4211101450891962973_nOther quick points:

  1. Amway is designed to act as a supplemental/secondary income for its distributors and has an element of “helping others to help themselves and ins doing so, help yourself” – Compassionate Capitalism.
  2. Amway is frequently viewed as expensive – not strictly true. Generally, only true when viewed/evaluated on a size-for-size or volume-for-volume basis. Amway’s products tend to be formula-concentrated and needs to be diluted before use whilst traditional supermarket brands tend to be pre-diluted to give a perception of value due to size/volume. The reality is Amway’s products are generally competitive and when properly evaluated, generally gives greater value for money.
  3. Amway’s products, being concentrated, tend to be packed in smaller pack sizes. This has 2 main advantages. First, less packaging materials, usually non-biodegradable plastics, are used. Thus, less waste is generated and therefore greater environmental responsibility. Second, the smaller pack sizes facilitates IBOs carrying and delivering product to enduser-customers as opposed to the traditional large supermarket pack sizes where large supermarkets with massive shelf space is utilized with the help and assistance of large transport logistic companies helping to move product from manufacturer to wholesaler to distributor to retailer, etc. Amway’s direct marketing supply chain eliminates all of these “middlemen” costs.
  4. Amway generously rewards its successful IBOs with fully-sponsored overseas trips, etc. There are 15 income streams available to every IBO – all performance-based.
  5. Amway’s compensation scheme pays from the “bottom-up”. Hence, the IBO who actually sells the product is rewarded first. The rates of compensation are open and available for all to calculate, evaluate and review/compare. Open and transparent. In its scheme, therefore, downlines can and often do overtake uplines performance and compensation-wise.
  6. A lot of people avoid Amway because of the perceived “pushy” attitude on the part of its IBOs, its high rate of failure and even a perception where you will “lose your friends” when one becomes an Amway IBO. Whilst it is true that some IBOs become over “pushy” in their endeavours to recruit other IBOs or sell/move product, this is also true in any human endeavour where a $-profit motivation exists. However, how “pushy” an IBO becomes is totally within the control of the particular IBO concerned. Therefore, whether or not one loses one’s friends because of Amway is also totally dependent on the conduct of the particular IBO concerned and that is totally within the control of the IBO himself/herself. There can be a reluctance to join as an IBO because of the high rate of failure. This is true. However, it is true simply because it is so cheap to fail – only S$69. And because Amway is NOT a “get-rich-quick” scheme or a “money-for-nothing” scheme but actually requires time and effort, it is not for everybody. On the other side of the coin though, at the traditional supply chain model, it is not as cheap to fail. Consider the infrastructural costs that would have been invested in such a failure – the storage, warehouse, personnel, logistic costs ! In the Amway, direct marketing model, all such costs are borne by Amway inclusive of training at the Amway University!
  7. In reality, each of the different models serve a useful function – each helps to keep the other straight and honest in a competitive sense –  emanating from their 2 different approaches to achieving the same objective- getting product from manufacturer to enduser. Overall, we, as consumers, are better off because of this check-and-balance.
  8. Amway is unequivocally committed to continuous research and development and also to strict adherence to quality and manufacturing standards. One would need to visit its 3km long comprising hundreds of hectares manufacturing facility at Ada, Michigan, USA to convince oneself.
  9. At the end, the key to Amway’s long success in its business is its quality and value for money for its products and one of the logical entry keys to the Amway world, for some, can be to initially join as a user for S$69 (thus availing oneself to the 20% distributor discount). Just switch to the Amway brand all of your own usage of everyday household, personal care, cosmetics and health, nutrition and wellness items that we use in our daily lives and insodoing ascertain for ourselves the validity of all that is written of its products here.

Eddie Edvis sincerely hopes you have read the above carefully and that you will resolve to consider and possibly join Amway. As indicated above, I would be, of course, very happy should you choose to join me in my network but I would be equally happy should you prefer to join Amway through someone else’s network – but do give Amway a go.

Eddie Edvis
15 March 2011